Explained: What’s Happening With India’s Domestic Cricket Season?

Ganguly had said that a plan had been drawn up to conduct a shortened domestic season between January & March 2021.

Updated
Explainers
3 min read
Saurashtra are the defending champions of the Ranji Trophy which they won earlier this year in March beating Bengal in the final.
i

With the IPL done and dusted and the Indian cricket team engaged in a long tour of Australia, the BCCI’s focus is now on the domestic season and how to make the most of the situation marred by the coronavirus pandemic.

Will the BCCI be able to conduct all its tournaments or will some have to be skipped? The IPL, in UAE, had 8 teams and back home the Indian Super League with 11 teams is being held in a biosecure bubble. The BCCI will understandably follow a similar practice. The BCCI Secretary Jay Shah along with treasurer Arun Dhumal visited Punjab for inspection ahead of the season.

Given the situation, the BCCI have proposed a curtailed season and have asked the states for their inputs. In October, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said that a tentative plan had been drawn up to conduct the shortened domestic season between January and March 2021.

Explained: What’s Happening With India’s Domestic Cricket Season?

  1. 1. The Proposal

    BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, earlier in the week, asked all the state associations how they’d like to go about with the domestic season.

    In an email, as per multiple reports, the BCCI listed the windows for the various tournaments with the Syed Mushtaq Ali being the start of the proposed domestic season. The BCCI has earmarked 20 December–10 January as the window for the domestic T20s. The Ranji Trophy which will span across 67 days starting 11 January through 18 March. The Vijay Hazare Trophy has been proposed between 11 January and 7 February.

    Expand
  2. 2. Where Will These Tournaments be Played?

    There are 38 teams in the mix for the domestic season which means hosting the tournaments will be quite the task for the BCCI and the concerned state organisations. The Hindu reported that the 38 teams will be divided into 5 Elite groups and 1 Plate group. The Elite groups will consist of 6 teams each while the Plate group will have 8 teams, and there will be 6 bio-secure bubbles.

    The BCCI is currently in deciding on which six cities to pick but have shortlisted Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Puducherry, Vadodara, Surat, Nagpur, Indore, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

    Expand
  3. 3. Who Picked What?

    Ranij Trophy champions Saurashtra, domestic heavyweights Mumbai and Tamil Nadu, along with Baroda and Punjab have backed the idea of playing only the limited-overs tournaments while the Ranji trophy runners up Bengal have picked the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Ranji Trophy, according to ESPNCricinfo.

    Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka along with the Andhra Cricket Association and Vidarbha have chosen the option of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Ranji Trophy.

    Haryana Cricket Association are in no hurry and Arunachal Pradesh office-bearers have chosen only T20s, according The Hindu.

    The BCCI is expected to finalise the plan for the season soon after Jay Shah toured several state associations to take stock. The Times of India reported that the BCCI intends to host the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy to help scout talent for IPL 2021 and as a trial run of sorts in a year when India hosts the T20 World Cup.

    Expand
  4. 4. First-Class Contracts

    Earlier in October 2019, days after taking charge as BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly had said that there will be first-class contracts.

    However, the contracts remain a work in a progress and the BCCI are also contemplating a 'force majeure' clause if it decides to bring in a contract for all first-class cricketers, who are set to lose match fees as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put uncertainty around the 2020-21 first-class season, according to reports on 3 December.

    The BCCI may eventually bring in a contract system together with the state associations for first-class cricketers, meaning it could be a joint effort. However, the contracts will most likely include a force majeure clause, that may make room for calamities like the coronavirus pandemic.

    "Force majeure clause is always there. You cannot foresee contingencies. All those clauses are there and it all depends on how you do it. The baseline is to help cricketers get more money so they don't struggle in their lives, concentrate on cricket. In the present scenario, there is no cricket so it is difficult to pay," IANS quoted a BCCI official as saying.

    Currently, in domestic cricket in India, players are paid according to the number of days of cricket they play.

    (The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

    Expand

The Proposal

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, earlier in the week, asked all the state associations how they’d like to go about with the domestic season.

In an email, as per multiple reports, the BCCI listed the windows for the various tournaments with the Syed Mushtaq Ali being the start of the proposed domestic season. The BCCI has earmarked 20 December–10 January as the window for the domestic T20s. The Ranji Trophy which will span across 67 days starting 11 January through 18 March. The Vijay Hazare Trophy has been proposed between 11 January and 7 February.

Where Will These Tournaments be Played?

There are 38 teams in the mix for the domestic season which means hosting the tournaments will be quite the task for the BCCI and the concerned state organisations. The Hindu reported that the 38 teams will be divided into 5 Elite groups and 1 Plate group. The Elite groups will consist of 6 teams each while the Plate group will have 8 teams, and there will be 6 bio-secure bubbles.

The BCCI is currently in deciding on which six cities to pick but have shortlisted Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Puducherry, Vadodara, Surat, Nagpur, Indore, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Who Picked What?

Ranij Trophy champions Saurashtra, domestic heavyweights Mumbai and Tamil Nadu, along with Baroda and Punjab have backed the idea of playing only the limited-overs tournaments while the Ranji trophy runners up Bengal have picked the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Ranji Trophy, according to ESPNCricinfo.

Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka along with the Andhra Cricket Association and Vidarbha have chosen the option of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Ranji Trophy.

Haryana Cricket Association are in no hurry and Arunachal Pradesh office-bearers have chosen only T20s, according The Hindu.

The BCCI is expected to finalise the plan for the season soon after Jay Shah toured several state associations to take stock. The Times of India reported that the BCCI intends to host the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy to help scout talent for IPL 2021 and as a trial run of sorts in a year when India hosts the T20 World Cup.

First-Class Contracts

Earlier in October 2019, days after taking charge as BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly had said that there will be first-class contracts.

However, the contracts remain a work in a progress and the BCCI are also contemplating a 'force majeure' clause if it decides to bring in a contract for all first-class cricketers, who are set to lose match fees as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put uncertainty around the 2020-21 first-class season, according to reports on 3 December.

The BCCI may eventually bring in a contract system together with the state associations for first-class cricketers, meaning it could be a joint effort. However, the contracts will most likely include a force majeure clause, that may make room for calamities like the coronavirus pandemic.

"Force majeure clause is always there. You cannot foresee contingencies. All those clauses are there and it all depends on how you do it. The baseline is to help cricketers get more money so they don't struggle in their lives, concentrate on cricket. In the present scenario, there is no cricket so it is difficult to pay," IANS quoted a BCCI official as saying.

Currently, in domestic cricket in India, players are paid according to the number of days of cricket they play.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Published: 
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!